Standard Insurance Group Chairman Judes Echauz has reaffirmed his support for cycling and duathlon in the country’s search for more gold medals in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam late this year.

The avid sportsman said their athletes, who are mostly members of the national team, have been rigorously training despite restrictions brought by the pandemic.

Their cyclists, in particular, have been on a regular five-day training.

“We’re happy we’re starting on the right foot,” Echauz said in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

Echauz added they have 10 male and five female riders capable of winning medals in the biennial meet where the PH team seeks to eclipse its one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the road cycling event.

He particularly cited the women’s team as having a better chance of winning gold medals with the presence of Jermyn Prado, who captured the individual time trial gold and road race silver in the 2019 SEAG that the country hosted.

Echauz is also discounting the men’s team who finished bronzes in the team time trial and team road race in the similar SEAG edition.

“We’ve learned our techniques, so I think we’d be able to improve our performance (in the SEAG). We also have the best sprinters,” Echauz said.

He cited notable cyclists who have the best chance to stand out in the SEAG like Jan Paul Morales, George Oconer, El Joshua Cariño, Jun Rey Navarra, Ronald Oranza, among others.

In duathlon, Echauz is optimistic the country can improve its one-gold, one-silver, one-bronze haul in the previous SEAG meet despite the retirement of reigning women’s champion Monica Torres.

“We can get a 1-2 finish in the men’s. I’m also optimistic of our female duathletes,” he said.

He cited 2019 SEAG silver medalist Joey Delos Reyes, Doy Comendador, Pauline Fornea to boost the squad.

Echauz also hopes they can resume training in sailing, where he is president of the association, since most training venues are unavailable due to pandemic restrictions.

Source: Manila Bulletin (